Isolation stay-cation


As a kid my dream Christmas always took place back in Ohio. There would be a real Christmas tree, snow, and most importantly, my whole family. Growing up, my entire family lived on the east coast, it was rare to get to see family on the holidays because of the distance.  And when I was lucky enough to see them, usually for Thanksgiving, it was amazing. Full of laughter, card games, baking, and nerf gun battles. But no matter what, Christmas was always spent alone. 

I can only recall a few Christmases that were just my immediate family.  When I was younger I absolutely hated it, but as I grew older and my family formed our own traditions, I learned to love it. On Christmas Eve we have soup for dinner, and open one present (which is always matching pj’s), then on Christmas it’s presents and a Star Wars movie. I loved this Christmas plan, there was no chaos of having to deal with different relatives and coordinating plans. It was peaceful and quiet. 

Then the FaceTime call appears, the sense of peacefulness and quitenes leaves, as a feeling of loneliness appears. The day that you are enjoying turns into a feeling of isolation as you see all your extended family together. The spiral continues as you scroll through social media and see all your friends with their extended families. 

I get this feeling on most holidays, and I am sure many other people do. Some people are not lucky enough to have family that lives close to them, or they do not have the funds to visit family on holiday. But no reason can distract from the feeling of isolation from the rest of your family. You cannot let the feeling of isolation take over the holiday, so you have to focus on the family you have with you. 

Yes, it is not as exciting spending time with your family that you see everyday, but it is still special, you just have to have the mindset. I know that I can watch a Star Wars movie any other day of the year, but making it a tradition becomes special. I do not look forward to watching the movie, I look forward to fighting with my brother about how the movie was actually good. 

When everyone is excited about seeing family for the holidays, and talking about all the fun activities they planned, and the feeling of isolation kicks in, do not let it. Despite the feeling you still have family with you, and you have your own traditions, so appreciate that. 

Maybe eventually I will have my dream white Christmas in Ohio with my whole family, but for this Christmas I am looking forward to spending it in the sun with my immediate family.